China's first special economic zone celebrates 30th anniversary
2010/09/06

SHENZHEN, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Shenzhen, a southern coastal city neighboring Hong Kong, marked its 30th anniversary as China's first economic reform zone Monday.

Chinese President Hu Jintao told a celebratory rally held in Shenzhen Monday morning the central government will always support the country's special economic zones (SEZ) embarking on "brave exploration" in their roles as "first movers."

"The SEZs will not only continue, but should work better," Hu said. Southern cities of Xiamen, Shantou and Zhuhai, as well as the island province of Hainan, are the country's other SEZs.

China's top legislature approved the establishment of the Shenzhen SEZ on Aug. 26, 1980.

Hu, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said the Shenzhen SEZ has been the scene of miracles in industrialization, urbanization and modernization.

He said the SEZ has made important contributions to the country's reform and opening-up.

Once a small fishing village, the Shenzhen SEZ has evolved into a metropolis over the past three decades. It is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as headquarters of many high-tech companies.

Looking back over its thirty years, the Shenzhen SEZ has taken the initiative with reforms and played an important role in the country's transformation from a highly centralized planned economy to a robust socialist market economy, he said.

The Shenzhen SEZ has continually maintained its development focus, persisted in opening up and served the country's overall development.

Under the principle of "one country, two systems," Shenzhen has played a role as bridge for the mainland to strengthen exchanges and cooperations with Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, for the nation's prosperity, stability and peaceful reunification, Hu said.

The achievements made by the Shenzhen SEZ has proved that the Party's basic theories, guidelines and experiences formed since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978 are "completely correct" and the decision made by the CPC Central Committee of establishing the special economic zones was "absolutely right," said Hu.

Only through the reform and opening-up could China, along with socialism and Marxism, develop. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only road to realize the revitalization of the Chinese nation, he added.

ACCELERATING TRANSFORMATION OF ECONOMIC GROWTH

Hu called on SEZs to become the spearheads in accelerating the transformation of economic growth model, which was a "significant, strategic task concerning the country's overall economic and social development."

A technological innovation system should be built to combine enterprises, market, production and research to enhance innovative capability of core technologies, so as to drive economic development with innovation, Hu said.

He called for accelerating the adjustment of the economic structure and boosting consumption, especially household consumption.

Efforts should be made to develop the advanced manufacturing industry and high-end service industry and seize the commanding position of emerging industries of strategic importance, he said.

The development of urban and rural areas should be well coordinated and the construction of the "new countryside" should be combined with urbanization, with cities playing a leading role, Hu said.

He also called for developing modern agriculture and increasing farmers' income, developing human resources, enhancing energy conservation and environmental protection, promoting low-carbon technologies and developing the green economy.

OVERALL PROMOTION OF REFORM

Hu called for continuing deepening reform and opening-up and "promoting an overall economic, political, cultural and social structural reform."

"The orientation of the socialist market economy should be adhered to," he said.

Efforts should be made to get to the crux of the problem to "promote taxation, financial, investment and income distribution reform," so as to build a mechanism to reflect the relation between market supply and demand, as well as show the scarcity of natural resources and costs to the environment, Hu said.

He said "the socialist path of political development should be adhered to" and the socialist system should be self-improved and developed.

Efforts should be made to "boost vitality of the CPC and the state" and people's initiative should be mobilized, Hu said.

He called for "expanding socialist democracy" and speeding up the construction of "a socialist country under the rule of law."

He said efforts should be made to carry on democratic elections, decision-making, management and supervision in order to safeguard people's right to know, to participate, to express and to supervise.

Hu called for building a "service-oriented government."

He also said the level of economic openness should be improved.

Hu said more areas should be opened up and the mode of investment, cooperation and the use of foreign investment should be upgraded, so as to form new advantages in international economic cooperation and competition.

President Hu said the CPC and the government should pay equal attention to construction of both spiritual and material civilization, and promote "socialist core value system" along with the country's economic development.

Education for socialist democracy and rule of law as well as Chinese traditional moral values should be enhanced, and social morals, professional ethics and family virtues should also be strengthened, Hu said.

The government should deepen reform of the cultural administrative system and further develop public cultural facilities to answer diversified demands of the people, he said.

China should be proud of its own outstanding culture but at the same time learn from other cultures around the world, Hu added.

The Chinese government should continue to promote social harmony and improve people's living conditions by adjusting the distribution of national income, Hu said.

To improve people's living conditions, the government should establish service systems that cover all citizens, such as life-long education, employment, health care, housing and other basic needs, he said.

To realize a more scientific social management, the government should establish more effective mechanisms to allow citizens to express their demands, to safeguard people's interests, and to resolve disputes, he said.

Enterprises should work out better mechanisms to share profits and interests with their employees, and provide better services to migrant workers, the president said.

The CPC should more strictly management itself to improve the Party's governance ability, Hu said.

The CPC should firmly resist corruption and seriously punish corrupt officials. Party organs at all levels should strengthen anti-corruption education for the Party members, he said.

Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, said in a speech the Shenzhen SEZ was the "driving force" of China's reform and opening-up.

"Overseas Chinese have been heartened and convinced by the achievements of the country's reform and opening-up," said Li, Hong Kong's richest man.

Wang Rong, secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC, said Shenzhen will continue to play the role of "first mover" and strive to be at the "vanguard of China's scientific development."

He said Shenzhen is endeavoring to build itself into a "modern and international" metropolis.

With more and more economic projects being launched here, Shenzhen has started adjusting its economic growth pattern, said Prof. Zhu Huiqiang with South China University of Technology.

The city was strengthening its innovation abilities and upgrading its industries, he said.

In terms of reforming the government's social management, Song Xiaowu, President of the China Society of Economic Reform, said that the government should pass on most of its public service jobs to social organizations.

"The Special Economic Zone has established an efficiency-preferable market economy system in the past 30 years and from now on its main job should be establishing a social system focusing on fairness and justice." Song said.

Ma Zhanwei, a migrant worker from central Henan Province who is employed on the Shenzhen subway construction project, told Xinhua that local government has exempted migrant workers from medical insurance fees for a year starting August 2010.

The exemption policy is believed to benefit more than 8 million migrant workers in Shenzhen.

"My monthly income is about 2,500 yuan, enough to support my family's basic needs," Ma said. "I hope that my salary can increase steadily and more people can benefit from Shenzhen's progress."

 

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